Alberto Rodriguez, Mount Vernon High School (MVHS) orchestra teacher, and music education alumnus has been selected as one of the eight recipients of the 2022-23 Wolf Trap Grants for High School Performing Arts Teachers. The MVHS orchestra and music technology programs will be awarded $5,000 to fund "The Ko Project.”
In 2020, the MVHS Orchestra program suffered the loss of beloved alumni Micco Daniels (’19). Not only was Micco an incredible cellist who was studying music at Case Western Reserve University he was also an immensely talented hip-hop beat producer who produced under the name “Mad Ko”. It wasn’t until after his passing that Rodriguez realized that there are so many more students like Micco (and himself a decade ago in his own high school journey) who have many unique and diverse interests outside of traditional classical music that need to be catered to, and so he began to brainstorm "The Ko Project."
This project will be a collaboration between MVHS orchestra and music technology students that will result in students composing, creating, and performing original music with guidance from a professional electronic music artist. This grant will fund the MVHS orchestra program to purchase electric instruments, amplifiers, and effect pedals and help the MVHS music technology program purchase MIDI keyboards, music software technology licenses, and other sound equipment. This grant will bring in an incredibly successful electronic musician (and a great friend of Rodriguez's) to supplement in-class instruction and mentor students in the composition, production, and performance processes. This project will culminate with a live performance of the original music this spring.
"I’m so grateful to the Wolf Trap Foundation, my colleagues and admin at MVHS, Micco’s father Wallace Daniels, and the entire Daniels family for their support and love. This is the definition of a passion project and I can’t wait to get started." - Alberto Rodrigeuz
Many artists and arts lovers trace their initial spark of interest back to a high school performing arts teacher. It’s from these teachers that students learned to express themselves, assert their individuality, collaborate with others—and most of all, discover that distinct sense of excitement and possibility many of us get from the performing arts. And so, Wolf Trap rewards the teachers who make it all possible—particularly those creating innovative new programs.
June 2, 2022 Alberto Rodriguez and the Mount Vernon High School Orchestra present "Free Fall" by composer Selena Ryan. A wonderful collaboration between the composer, teacher, and students with differentiated sections for multiple ability levels.